Sunday Morning Coffee: A Godly Husband

Once, I told him he was being a helicopter husband. That he needed to let me make my own decision and accept my own consequences.

I really was born on the Fourth of July. It’s totally appropriate for me to have been born on Independence Day.

The truth is, what I have is a godly husband.

He’s watched me struggle with a great deal of pain over the last four or five years. Even before my back went wonky, he watched me deal with two knee replacement surgeries, and that’s just the big stuff.

He has never complained when I’m having a lot of pain. He just moves in and takes over jobs that he knows are hard for me when the pain is waging an all-out attack. He does laundry. He cleans. He shops, cooks, and takes care of the dishwasher. He’s never been afraid to change a smelly diaper on any of our four kids if I was sick, and even when I wasn’t.

It is not in my nature to be fussed over. I do better when I’m left alone with my misery. So is he. When he’s sick, he doesn’t want me to do a single thing for him, but he has a hard time leaving me on my own.

He took me by surprise a couple of hours ago when he said he wants me to wait another week before I go to church. I questioned that, and I suppose he’s right. I’m better, but he sees me walking and says I’m not ready yet. It’s a 40-minute drive, then sitting from 9:45 until 11:30 or so, and then the drive back home. He says my walk makes it clear to him that I’m still favoring the place where the pain hit, and he just thinks it’s too soon for me to try to take it to church.

I will admit that my initial reaction wasn’t very thankful. I got over that fairly quickly, though, and had a little talk with Jesus about helping me to be thankful for a husband who takes such good care of me, in spite of his own chronic pain.

He absolutely does treat me as Christ treats His bride. I know without doubt that he would lay down his life for me. Sometimes I get annoyed and push against his tendency to protect me, but you know what? That’s just stupid of me! Stupid, and not godly, not virtuous, not appreciative of a man who takes such good care of me. He cherishes me, as it says in Ephesians 5, as he does his own flesh. I have taught women, many times, that when a man treats you like that, it’s very easy to accept his God-given authority as the head of your home.

So there is my sermon to myself on this Sunday morning. If you have a husband who takes care of you, and you have an independent nature, ask God to show you the treasure you have.

Don’t take it lightly.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Humor

A few days ago, I was stripping my bed to wash the sheets. My habit is to get the sheets loose, then put any other laundry in the middle, and bundle it all up like Santa’s bag of presents. All went well until I twisted the corners together and hoisted it up over my shoulder.

Well, I TRIED to hoist it. Couldn’t get it off the bed. Totally confused, I decided to open it back up. Aha. I have a weighted blanket that weighs at leas 25 pounds. Forgot to take it off the bed. I’m old, dearie, and ever so weak and fragile. Slinging 25+ pounds over my shoulder was not a great idea 🙂

Another morning last week, I was getting my breakfast. I use a French press for my coffee. First I grind the beans that my grandson roasts for me, then dump the grounds into my press, pour boiling water over the grounds, put the cover on and let it brew.

Only this time I poured the whole beans into the press, then stood there for several seconds trying to figure out what to do next. I did figure it out, but I sure felt silly.

Years ago, I was getting ready for work, putting on my makeup. Grabbed my tube of under-eye bag concealer and swiped it on–only it was lipstick. Bright red. Sigh.

I actually did go to work one morning with a blue shoe on one foot and a grey one on the other. Didn’t notice it until my first client pointed it out to me. We both had a good laugh.

One time, when I was teaching, I was looking for something in my top desk drawer. I was standing, and had bent over to reach to the back of the drawer. Must have bumped the drawer, because it slammed shut–on my dangly necklace. Hoo boy. And I couldn’t get the drawer to open, had to ask for help. My students were enjoying my predicament.

Then there was the time I walked into my class room, dumped my bag, took off my coat, getting ready to go to staff meeting. I jumped about a mile when a deep voice coming from somewhere above me said, “Good morning, Mrs. Kreger!” This kid had climbed up to the top of the bookshelves, stretched out on his side, and waited for me to come into my room. Honestly, he scared me out of ten years’ growth. Laughing all the way.

I could continue, but that’s enough for now. I don’t always intend to be funny, but things just kind of happen to me, and it seems I have a reputation that I’m not sure I want 🙂

Aren’t you thankful for a sense of humor? Thankful that you can laugh at yourself just as quickly as you laugh at someone else? I’m thankful for laughter. It’s good for the soul and the body. I look forward to the day I hear God laughing! There will be great joy in heaven. I believe we will have endless reason to enjoy laughter.

Learn to be thankful for the small things in life. You’ll be a happier person.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Spring

I think it’s really here. It’s been peeking around the corner, withdrawing, peeking again. But now the flowering trees are doing their thing, lifting bouquets of glorious beauty up to the Creator. Daffodils are loaning us their delightful, happy yellow.

And soon, there will be tulips. I love tulips. The colors are so vibrant. They just make me smile.

Isn’t that just gorgeous! How I would love to be there during blooming season in Holland.

I really don’t have much else to say this morning. Sometimes the heart is just too full for words. But never for music!

Sunday Morning Coffee: A Movie

So I’m watching a Hallmark movie–not embarrassed to admit it–on Saturday evening. It’s about an Amish girl who is struggling with the restrictions of her life, not sure she wants to stay in it. She knows that if she chooses to go to the “Englishers,” it will be a blow to her family and her community. She hasn’t joined the church yet, so she would not be put under the Meidung, in which she would be shunned by even her closest family members.

When we first moved to Pennsylvania in 1974, I was intrigued with the whole Amish culture. We didn’t have a computer back then, didn’t even know for sure what they were. So I used the library, looked at various magazines, did a lot of reading and even got an Amish cookbook that I still use quite often.

They don’t want to have their pictures taken. They even make dolls with no faces for their little girls. Too much like making a graven image.

Cloth Amish Doll

Some communities are much more strict. Others have loosened the reins just a bit, hoping to keep their young people in the church. I’m not writing tonight to comment or express any opinions about any of this. I have, however, been reflecting on my own upbringing.

I was the kid who wasn’t allowed to learn to dance in gym class. I didn’t attend movies; didn’t ever, not even once, try smoking or drinking. There were other things, but they didn’t bother me a whole lot. Life was good. I had friends, was involved in lots of extra-curriculars at school, was busy at church, and spent a lot of time trying to learn to play the piano for church. I even had a boyfriend or two 🙂

So why the rules? Well, let’s back up a bit.

My parents were born in the 1920’s, grew up in the Depression, got through WWII. Dad trusted the Lord as his Savior when he was 14, but no one really discipled him. He joined the Navy at 19, after he and Mom were married. She was 16. Things were different then, huh?

While Dad was away, my Mom got saved. Dad was learning to drink and carouse and he was not impressed when Mom wrote to tell him. They had some rough years once he came home, until he finally surrendered to God’s call on his life to be a preacher.

They both grew up in what we knew as “worldly” activities, things that, looking back, they felt did not bring honor to God. They chose to rear us differently, avoiding worldly activities and thereby the temptations that could destroy our lives.

Did I agree with everything? No. But I loved and respected them, and as I said, life was really pretty good. I never felt deprived, really, although I think I would have loved to learn to dance 🙂

Didn’t I ever have a rebellious thought or desire? Well, sure. I’m very, very human.

I’ll tell you one thing for sure, though. I’m not sorry at all that I have nothing to regret in abiding by my parent’s rules. I was saved when I was only five, but I understood that I was a sinner. Lying is sin. Temper is sin. Cheating. Jealousy. Gossip. All just a sinful as the list of Baptist no-no’s that I grew up with. I’m not sorry I’ve never been addicted to alcohol or drugs. Never had to fight the terrible battle of giving up nicotine. There have been plenty of other battles that are just between me and God, and I’m so thankful that He knows all about me and loves me anyway.

I’m also thankful that I understood that I could never be good enough in my own strength to be allowed into heaven. That it was “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5-7). It is not belonging to any particular church, or denomination, or creed, or community that paves my way to heaven. It is the precious blood of Jesus, shed in my behalf, that cleanses me from sin and gains me entrance to heaven.

Sunday Morning Coffee: No Goal!

The wisdom is that one should always have an end in mind before one starts to write. Well, sometimes I do. But not now.

My head is full of a jumble of things, some of which I will not mention because they are political. I don’t have the energy or the time to go there. Just this: Pray for our nation.

Some of my thoughts are centered on my Bible study posts this week, having to do with the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. It’s impossible to think about it, research it, write about it, without having a strong emotional response.

I had a bad cold last week, first cold I’ve had in a long time. Felt miserable, but I’m thankful it was just a cold. One of the consequences of feeling so bad was a huge lack of energy. I had an appointment on Friday, so decided to make a quick grocery stop on my way home. Wrong choice. I’m not sick any more, but my old creaky body just wasn’t ready to face the elements or the numbers of people in the store. When I got home, I crashed. I was very thankful to have some yummy leftovers available for supper 🙂

And speaking of elements, ours are softening here in our corner of PA. Softer air. Warmer temps–it got all the way up to 50 yesterday! Forecast for next week is very temperate. Someone told me they saw crocuses peaking through the melting snow. Ah, spring! Two more weeks before it’s official, and we could still get snow–but it will melt quickly, and spring will push winter out of the way.

I have a sister who lives in Phoenix. She loves her 360 days per year of blue skies, sunshine, and heat.

Not me. I love seasons. I love vivid changes. I enjoy storms. Yes, I know they can be dangerous, but there’s something about wind and thunder, snow, rain, and lightning that are thrilling to me. I’ve watched tornadoes play bouncy from the thunderheads high above, and found it exciting as much as frightening. I’m glad God gave us weather, and that in America we can go find the climate that suits us best. Florida holds very little attraction for me. I enjoyed visiting the Southwest and was awed by the size, the extent, and the unique beauty of mountains and deserts. But I love green grass, big trees, rolling hills and farmland. We have all that and more very nearby, and even my Yooper husband is content to be where we are. That’s a big deal, because when we met he was a recent transplant to the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and he wasn’t impressed at all.

I’ve been thinking about contentment. Godliness with contentment, the Bible tells us, is of great gain (I Tim. 6:6). It is so easy to be discontent. Most of the time, I don’t dwell on my physical aches and pains. They’re with me and I deal with them the best I can. Every now and then, though, Satan creeps up on me and pushes me to a darker place where I focus on everything that hurts, everything that no longer works as well as it used to.

That, my friends, is stinkin’ thinkin’ and it needs to be thrown out the second-story window. Pronto!

Do you struggle with dark thoughts? Perhaps some unkind thing you said or did years ago; perhaps a hidden sin that you just can’t seem to kick to the curb? We all have those times. It is what we think about that controls our words, emotions, and actions. When Satan manages to poke his scabby finger into your mind, grab Galatians 5:1. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free; and be not again entangled with the yoke of bondage.”

May your Sunday be blessed. May you be refreshed in the Word and the fellowship, music, and prayer of your church family.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Last Day of February!

February is on its last legs. Twenty-four hours or less, depending upon when you read this, and it will be March.

I won’t be sad to wave goodbye to February. Lots of snow, and it’s possible we’ll have more in March. These two months tend to be the snow months here. I’m hoping March will come in like a lamb and go out like a lamb. Easter is early this year, April 4, and I just don’t like it if it’s cold and snowy on Easter Sunday! Well, my wanting balmy weather isn’t going to bring it :).

I teach a history class for a homeschool co-op that our church sponsors. Sometimes it’s an English class. I have the freedom to go wherever I’d like :). Right now, we’re talking about the Puritans and their Great Migration during the first half of the 17th century. Their goal was to establish a “city set on a hill”. that would be a refuge for believers who were being persecuted in England and other parts of Europe.

Matthew 5:14 quotes Jesus telling the people that a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. The Puritans truly yearned to establish that God-ruled colony in the New World that would shine the light of the gospel for all to see. Their hearts and hopes were high, and it did indeed seem as if they were doing what God had ordained.

It started well. Sadly, several factors influenced a gradual falling away from the hope of the gospel and turned the people’s interest to more earthly pursuits. It’s a sad story, but not a new one. When we forsake the first zeal, the first joy, the first fire of gratitude at God’s great gift of salvation, we tend to turn to other efforts, such as making a lot of rules for everyone else to follow. And later in their effort for the church to maintain political and civil control over the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they made a compromise that actually weakened the church. It’s called the Halfway Covenant. If you’re interested, you can find it easily online.

Of course, as one who loves our country and the history of it, I can’t help but make comparisons to America then (and it wasn’t America yet!) and America now, and the turning away we are seeing from the truth of the gospel; from the holiness of God, to the secular humanistic belief that man can transcend himself and actual become godlike. This philosophy deifies man and humanizes God.

This philosophy is taking us nowhere good. What America needs, and what we all need to pray for, is a Holy Spirit revival to sweep our land and clear away the cobwebs that have destroyed our understanding of the holiness of God. We need to beg Him to cleanse us and make us whiter than snow.

Sunday Morning Coffee: An Anniversary

I got a message from Word Press today congratulating me on using their platform for nine years now. They say I registered with WP in February of 2012. I don’t remember. My archives on this blog start with April of 2012, so it must have just taken me some time to figure everything out.

To me and Word Press!

Nine years of almost daily writing, lots of studying, lots of praying. Lots of blessings.

I’ve made some wonderful, interesting friends on Word Press, other bloggers with whom I share interests. I have another blog that is not as serious as this one: I don’t write as often over there, usually just once a week, although it used to be more often. You can find my responses to a weekly photo prompt, sometimes involving two little space aliens I’ve named Zing and Zang. Lots of fun.

Here’s one of those short stories:

The Fountain



“Earth people are so strange!” commented Zing. He and Zang were perched on the bench, watching the water fall from the spigots on all four sides of the pillar with the knob on top.

“I know,” replied Zang. “They put pipes underground from the river to this place, cover it all up with cement, and build an engine to push the water out the spouts. Why don’t they just enjoy the river?”

“Beats me! Hey, did you hear that? I just used a sling expression!”

“Sling? You mean “slang.”

“Right. Slang. Earth people have strange words, too”

Image result for cute aliens

On this blog, I’ve done lots of different things. My main emphasis is always the Bible study, but when I first started I did lots of posts that I called “Friday Counseling Issues.” Good response on those, and you can find them easily under Categories on the right side of the page.

I’m thankful that God nudged me to do this. It was an answer to prayer, giving me a platform for teaching the Bible after losing another teaching position. God always shows you another way, a better alternative.

I had to be patient. This isn’t a study that immediately draws thousands of viewers, and I’m not famous, so I didn’t have an audience waiting. It started slowly, with maybe 10 or so readers on an average day. Nine years later, I’m always over 150 per day, and often over 250. That’s a wonderful reward, and I’m so thankful for every single reader.

I’m especially thankful for two other things. One is for those who take a few minutes to leave a response. That is SO encouraging!

The other is that I can see in my statistics that there are people literally all over the world who see this blog. Some of them have written to me, and follow me daily. It’s utterly amazing!

I’m thankful that organizations like Word Press exist. It was a great help to a newbie like me, when I didn’t know how to publicize my blogs on Facebook, for instance, along with a host of other technical stuff.

So thanks, Word Press; thanks to all those who read, and especially who comment; and thanks to the Lord Who led me this way and has given me a ministry that I can do even when my rickety old body can’t do much else 🙂

Sunday Morning Coffee: It’s Back!

What’s back? Well, we got a little more snow, but it’s not a big deal. Kind of pretty, really, watching the big fat flakes lazing their way to the ground, the trees, and the rooftops. Our church canceled Sunday school to get time to clear the parking lot and sidewalks, but they’re planning to go ahead with the morning preaching service.

So what else is back? My back is back. Ugh.

I’ve had a nice long run of relative freedom from pain. It’s been over 1 1/2 years since I needed a steroid shot. But in the past couple of weeks, It’s become more insistent and persistent, nagging at me to pay attention. It’s hard to ignore when it wants my attention.

I think I sat too long in a hard chair yesterday, playing games with family and friends. Fun, but when I stood up I knew I was in trouble. By the time we got home, it was an effort to stand up straight.

Man, I hate this. Haven’t had this pain for over 18 months, and I REALLY don’t want it!

So. I have a 25 mg Tramadol that I can take as needed. I took one at 7 p.m. Took my 50 mg extended release when I went to bed at nine. Another smaller pill around 4 a.m. It’s better this morning, but I knew going to church was not an option. I’m being extremely careful with how I move, using my cane again, watching how I sit. Even a small thing like crossing my legs at the ankle can trigger frissons of unhappiness up my leg to my lower right side.

Bah. Humbug.

All right. Enough complaining. It doesn’t help. Well, it kind of does, right? Misery loves company, and all those other cliches. But really, focusing on the pain is not going to make it go away. Making sure I don’t carelessly aggravate the pain is much more to the point, so I think I’ll go back to bed when I’m finished here. My wonderful adjustable bed that eases stress on my lower back and even gives me a nice 20-minute massage to help me relax. See? There’s always something for which to be thankful!